3 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Busy Day
No doubt you’ve noticed that mindfulness and meditation have moved out of the monastery and into corporate America.
The topic is so hot that Wisdom 2.0, a conference, started in 2009, dedicated to exploring how to be more mindful about our technology use, now has a waiting list that runs into the hundreds. There are meditation apps galore, and organizations from Google to the Marine Corps have embraced the idea of promoting mindfulness. Some longtime meditators and Buddhists are even complaining that this new frenzy is corrupting the real meaning of mindfulness.
With all the interest, maybe you’ve considered seeing what all the fuss is about, but embracing a wisdom tradition thousands of years old is pretty intimidating.
How can the average entrepreneur with a jam-packed schedule get started? PsyBlog recently rounded up quick and easy ways to fit a little meditation into your day. Some are less appropriate for business owners (the candle meditation, for example, isn’t recommended for those sitting at a desk stacked with invoices), but here are a few that might work for you:
If you already go for a walk now and again to clear your head, then you have all the time and opportunity you need to give meditation a whirl. A 10- to 15-minute solitary spin in the park is the perfect opportunity to try walking meditation. PsyBlog explains: "As when cultivating all forms of mindfulness, it’s about focusing the attention. At first, people often concentrate on the sensation of their feet touching the ground. Then you could just as easily focus on your breath or move the attention around your body, part by part. The key, though, is to develop a sort of relaxed attention. When your mind wanders away, bring it back gently, without judging yourself."
No excuses available for this one. Everyone eats, so everyone has the opportunity to inject a little mindfulness into mealtime. "When you take the first bite of any meal, just take a moment to really pay attention to the taste. Look at the food carefully, feel the textures in your mouth, smell it and notice how your body reacts to it. You don’t need to keep this up all the way through the meal, but use it every now and then to focus your attention," PsyBlog instructs.
The Email Swap-out
For many of us, our first impulse when we need to take a break is to open up email or social media. Next time you’re feeling the need to refresh your concentration, why not try a few minutes of mindfulness instead? It’s supersimple, according to the post: "Turn away from the computer/tablet/smartphone and sit for a moment noticing the sensations in your mind and body. How do you feel? What can you hear? Try to be as present in that moment. If your mind wanders off to tasks that you have to complete or starts working over things that happened yesterday, let these go. Gently bring your mind’s focus back to the present."
Are you interested in finding out what all the fuss around mindfulness is about?
JESSICA STILLMAN | Columnist
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.